Da Lat is a beautiful mountain town in Vietnam's Central highlands. Around 3 hours in land from Nha Trang. Due to the high altitude and heavy rainfall it's surrounded by bushy mountains, waterfalls and the famous Da Lat flowers! The streets are lined with coffee shops and street sellers flogging fluffy ear muffs and big puffer jackets, (worlds away from what we've seen so far in Vietnam.)
For such a small town hidden away in the mountains, Da Lat has a lot to offer tourists, with a number of these being unique to Da Lat it self!

We went on a guided tour organised by our backpackers Mr Happy's Hostel and here's a list of the top 10 places we visited during our stay.

Lang Biang Mountain

Located just a short drive out of the city, following fields of famous Dalat flowers and crops you'll find Land Biang Mountain. Standing at 2,167 meters (7,110ft) above sea level, you'll be able to take in the incredible view of Da Lat and it's rich agricultural background.

Hang Nga Guest House - Crazy House

Da Lat is famous among many travelers thanks to Dang Viet Nga and her unique architecture. Dang Viet Nga studied in Moscow before heading to Dalat to build her somewhat strange fixtures. Crazy House is a strange cement guest house that doubles as a maze/mind boggling escape for tourists. We spent around 2 hours visiting all the rooms and climbing over the room of one of the buildings. If you really want to you can even sleep here!

Maze Bar (100 roofs)

Maze Bar is another interesting architectural spot famous in Da Lat. The name pretty much gives it away, Maze (You're going to get lost here) and Bar (you are going to get drink here) Add them both together, whats the worst that can happen?
Luckily, we had our guides from Mr Happy's Hostel showing us around the bar so we didn't get lost - but it's easy to see why. There are multi level turning stair cases and hidden drop downs that take you to different areas of the bar. My favourite spot being the cosy balcony where we could enjoy a few drinks.
Once you arrive, there's no entry for the bar, but you need to buy a drink to get in. I went for an alcoholic cookie dough smoothie, my partner had a vodka and lemonade. We visited twice, once in the evening and once in the morning. There's even a large back garden for you to sip in the sun!

Elephant waterfalls

We visited the Elephant water falls during a day tour with our scooter guides - it's a bit out of the city but 100% worth it. It's an incredible ride passing amazing views and long, winding roads. Be warned - if it's raining the ground is very slippy. You can view it from the top - but it's so much better hearing the water crash at the bottom.

Catch the Cable Car to Truc Lam Pagoda

We headed up to the cable car on our first day in Da Lat. It was only a 10 minute walk up the hill and pretty damn cheap. Once you reach the other side of the beautiful, grassy ravine - you'll find yourself at Truc Lam Pagoda. This stunning complex features a variety of traditional Asian architecture. You'll easily spot the Pagoda while you're walking around, and you'll even spot a few of the monks that live on the land while they go about their daily routine. You can either head straight back down the cab;e car to where you started; or if you want to explore more, I would highly recommend following the path around the fishing pond and making your way down to Xuan Huong Lake.

Xuan Huong Lake

Situated right in the middle of Dalat City, this artificial lake is shaped like a crescent moon and approximately 7km all round. It's surrounded by dense pine forests, green lawns and wonderful flower displays. It's great for those who love to walk (or even run)
The water is perfectly still, and on a brighter day works as a mirror image of the sky above. Grab one of the swan shaped peddle boats and go explore!

Linh An Pagoda

Linh An Tu Pagoda is somewhat over looked. It doesn't show up on many guides we found online but our tour guides brought us here after visiting the Elephant Falls.
The grounds are full of multiple buildings of worships and decorated with stunning art work and religious statues throughout. Our favourite being the Giant Happy Buddha in the garden behind the main hall.

Thien An Cricket Farm

Now this one is hit or miss. It's a weird set up of a wine distillery, petting zoo and cricket farm?
There's three sections you're able to walk around, the first being the wine distillery. We entered into an underground passage way that's filled with ceramic bottles/trophies - each containing different types of wine, it's a narrow walk around but still interesting for the short time you can cope down there. Once you're out the other end you're met by 3 crocodiles in a tiny pen with little water. This is where it gets a bit strange and off putting. Outside there were crocodiles, a deer and three big ass, scary ostrich! All in tiny cages that must be ancient.

Then you quickly run past the giant birds into the indoors zoo. This includes hedgehogs, rabbits and guinee pigs that you can pick up and pet (very cute, but too many in one cage again)
Get's weirder.... porkie pines! literally a family of porkie pines places in a tiny cement cage.. this is not a place for animal lovers - and last animal being the main attraction are the crickets. I did't know crickets could be so small, literally less than 1cm long there are baby crickets everywhere!

Last on your tour of the cricket farm is the wine testing. They had EVERYTHING, we tried grass wine, rice wine, snake wine and a few shots of 'Happy Water' (still no idea what that is) and tucked into some crickets while there too.

Pongour Waterfall.

By far the most famous in the area, Pongour Waterfall is a great day out! Easy to get reach view the wide gravel pathways, along with steps and rope that'll help you make your way down to the viewing point. Pack a picnic because it's the perfect place to stop and relax while you watch the water come crashing down the wide cliff face. You are able to walk onto the waterfall itself, but please be aware it is slippy and the signs do tell you not to!

Mr. Loc's weasel coffee farm

The majority of Weasel coffee and special wines come from Dalat, so we were super excited to head to Mr Loc's Weasel Coffee Farm to explore! (Michael loves coffee, i love cute weasels so win win!) If you are into coffee culture then this is the place for you, Weasel coffee is seen as one of the most Gourmet coffees in the world. Basically, a Weasel eats the coffee beans, his insides have special powers to make that coffee bean magical and then poops it out - and then its used like a normal coffee bean. Science.
Here they'll walk you through the process, you can see the fields of beans, the weasels (and some cute dogs) and at the end grab yourself a cup of Weasel coffee!

Stephanie xoxo


We're officially half way through out trip down the East Coast of Australia and in the lively city of Brisbane! If you want to be in the heart of Brisbane, make lots of buddies and not break the bank then look no further than City Backers HQ. With rooms to suit every type of backpacker and offering plenty of high quality facilities - you will not be disappointed!

We partnered with City Backpackers HQ for our first 4 nights in Brisbane, and to say we were thrilled with our stay would be an understatement. We made new friends, got to have a dip in the pool while looking over the city skyline, had a few $5 beers in their onsite bar and so much more!

If you're thinking of heading to Brisbane soon and looking for a recommendation then here is an honest review about our experience during our stay at City Backpackers HQ. Covering everything you want/need to know about the hostel and why you HAVE to stay there. Happy reading!

The Location
As stated at the start, you are literally in the heart of Brisbane. It's just a 10 minute walk over to the science center, museum, art gallery and so much more. There is a fantastic pub on site - but if you fancy venturing out to a local gem, I highly recommend The Fox Hotel - which is only a 15 minute walk away. There is a cinema and Aldi just across the road, and you're a two minute walk from the nearest City Cycle Rack. Let's not forget that you're just far enough out of the city to make the venue relatively quiet from noise and commuting - and bonus, you get this amazing view of the city!

How to book

Booking is really simple. You can either book your stay directly through their website to guarantee the best price possible. Including discounts for booking a one week or more stay. Alternatively, City Backpackers is available on the majority of booking websites including Booking and Hostelworld. You are able to book anything from a bed in a 16 bed dorm, female only room or a couples room.

The Room
During our time at the hostel, we stayed in a private double room which looked over the decking with a view of the city. Our room was spotless, included curtains, a mirror and also had a clothing rail we could hand our outfits. There was room for us to slide our backpacks under the bed and plenty of room to walk around the room as we needed.
Even though our room looked over the decking, we couldn't hear the other backpackers outside the window - they we're either really quiet all the time or the glass just blocked it out. The room across the hall was an 8 bed dorm, it would be a bit noisy while the guys were getting ready for the evening, but normally died down around 9pm when every one hit the bar.
Directly across the hall from our room was a small toilet, perfect for people like me who need a loo all the time! and literally 5 steps away were the communal bathrooms.

The Atmosphere.

This hostel is super chilled. I really liked how there was only a small desinated smoking area in the corner of the balcony. It mean't the smell and smoke didn't drift over to everyone trying to enjoy their evening. Everybody we met during our stay were super friendly and wanted to get to know you. You'll find when you travel as a couple, people don't want to disturb you - but we met so many great people we enjoyed every night. The hostel holds offers every night in bar/restaurant - we took full advantage of the $5 pints. Cheapest you'll find in Brisbane!

With the open air outside area, including a swimming pool - you honestly felt relaxed everywhere you went. The kitchen was very busy between 5-7pm, but any other time we were often the only ones using the kitchen. Upstairs included a cinema room with big leather sofas and Netflix, we caught a few films over our time staying there. The hostel also has a jobs club, once you arrive, just ask them to add your name and number to the jobs books  - if any calls come in looking for working they'll give you a call!

In addition to all of this, the onsite pub/restaurant plays music until midnight, and sometimes later on the weekends. We loved having a little boogie with our new backpacker friends (but also loved that once midnight hit, everyone would go to the bars and we could go to bed)

Stephanie xoxo